Really? This is the best they can do? So much white and a little too simple for my tastes.

Really? This is the best they can do? So much white and a little too simple for my tastes. This is JAL's next livery.

This new livery from Japan Airlines (JAL) is a bit of a shocker to me. Earlier in the week, I started to see people talking on the web about JAL changing their livery and adding the historic crane back. I have actually like JAL’s current livery and was surprised to see them announcing a new one already. Then I started to see the drawings of what the new livery was supposed to look like.

At first I thought, “no way, what person did this mock up and showing it around the web?” It almost looked like someone made a custom livery on their home computer. So, I headed to the source and JAL’s press page. Holy smokes, they have the same mock up of the new livery. I am a little shocked that the mock up isn’t a little more professionally done, but I guess at least it gives us a good idea what it will look like.

At first I thought this livery was a horrid idea. Going from a pretty trendy looking livery with a nice cream-colored base to bleach white with just a crane and black titles. After some time looking at it, I don’t know what to think — I might have to wait until seeing it in person. It seems like it is very, very plain, but it might have a good enough retro feel to work. I think a clean red cheat-line might have brought it all together with a little update to the crane.

It seems a little odd to me that the company would be spending so much on a re-branding during a financially difficult time, but they are hoping it to celebrate the changes. The new livery will first be seen on a Boeing 767-300ER and I will for sure be looking for her in person to see how it turns out.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Well look at Mexicana, right before they suspended operations they were going thru a massive livery overhaul. To that ugly dark and light teal combo. Personally I liked the old livery on Mexicana, and I’ll agree, the old livery and a cheat line for JAL would have looked good.


Oh no 🙁 I love the current livery, with the big, overlarged circle on the tail and the current font. The new is just.. uninspired.

As a creative strategy director, my reaction is ok, and very good. The name is plainly stated, and easy to read, and the logo is timeless, and reinforced with JAL type. These two attributes JAL needs badly to reinforce their brand, and bring back calm and trust, eg traveller loyalty. I don’t know if this is something to get worked up about, in that I’ve done many focus groups over corporate identity and ranked lowest on influencing your choice of airline a or b …. was ‘how the airplane looks on the outside.’

I guess the standard flier is a bit different than airline geeks. Although I don’t choose an airline based on what it looks like on the outside, I enjoy it when I am an aircraft with a unique livery.


Leung Chungwai

Actually this new livery is very similiar to the old JAL livery some twenty years ago.


I’m afraid that hull livery has never done anything for me. I have read some people gushing away, for and against, on various .net sites, about this and that airline’s livery and sometimes wandered what the hell they were going on about! The name and tail does it all for me. As long as it looks reasonably clean on the outside (Air France excepted) i’m OK with plain planes!

The titles are the only thing wrong. I was trying to think of a way to fix it and I just came up with a copy of the last Northwest Airlines livery with the current JAL logo on the side, with Japan Airlines in non-italic font below it.

I am hoping you have photoshop skills and can show off the concept? 🙂



Mr. Dave oParker Brown
I know it is difficult to comprehend bringing back old logo, unless you understand Japanese philosophy. as well as history of the airline.
As you can see there is Pan AM operateting somewhere east coast, they also use old logo too.
I belive all old airlines logo has centimental value as compare current airline logo. UA/CO? US Airways?
Personally, current logo has no meaning to majority of Japanese. But the old Tsuru logo resemble flag of Japan. Especially for those Japanese immgrated to abroard during 1930-40, beliving they will not be to return visiting. As aviation industry accelarated 60-70, JAL DC-8-50/62 flew to to Brazil to accomondate those Itsusei (first generation) to visit(Satogaeri) Japan.
They were overwhelmed witnessed the Flag Carrier of Japan with Tsuruy logo.

When our ship was anchored at Danag Habor VN during 1968-69, we used to PAA, NW and other B707/DC8 flew over for final approach, we were overwhelmed to US Flag Carriers.
I am looking forward to see the logo is returning and flying high.

Gee,JAL did a RETRO livery.

I prefer the simple crane livery. Sure black and red cheatlines along the windows would have been great, but the crane logos, IMHO is one of the best old logos out there.

Lucas Fernandes

Hard times probably lead to decision to use this poorly designed livery.

Rich Monahan

It’s funny, I recently purchased a model of a JAL 777-300 based solely on the cream/off-white fuselage. To me, while the current livery isn’t anything fancy, I thought it was richly understated. I don’t mind the crane returning, or even the plain black font. I’d have kept the cream color though. Colors look richer against it than they do on white. But what concerns me more is the constant changes of liveries. It’s ridiculous. I even hear that there has been so much negative feedback to Smisek at Cont/United that there are rumors that they’ll reconsider the merged livery. Enough is enough. Especially when you’re a guy like me who spends a lot on aircraft models only to have them quickly outdated.

Miles Bader

I love JAL’s return to their classic look. It’s clean, subdued, and gives an impression of quality. It’s a welcome change from the current spate of graphics-designers-gone-crazy liveries that seem all the rage these days.

I always thought it was a mistake they got rid of the crane tail-crest in the first place — it was a great look and really set them apart from other airlines — but I guess they were trying to be trendy.

While I grew up with this logo, I don’t see why they’re bringing it back at this point in time. It seems to me like they’re trying to move back to more nostalgic times instead of moving forward. The old logo also brings back baggage from the days JAL was a state enterprise: do they really want to be bringing that with them?

The new Japan Airlines text is also very plain…quite disappointing really.

I wrote an editorial on this here:

Well I do miss the crane on the tail and it was a simble for a very long time. However the all white fuselage is not very attractive. But much cheaper for them to paint their fleet.

could they atleast leave the grey on the bottom of the plane? this looks like theyre trina compete with finnairs new livers. but i think the crane is a good comeback. just think better JAL!!

It’s simply a simple set of decals that can be applied to any all white plane that they lease or lease out. This simple scheme, dull as it is, is designed to give them flexibility when adding or subtracting planes on short term leases. It’s a sign of a company struggling to stay afloat.

JAL and Japan Airlines just doesn’t make sense. The font should read Japan Air Lines. This livery is boring.

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